The leader of Puerto Rico’s new wave, 18-year-old welterweight Xander Zayas, is not wasting time. Zayas, who scored one-sided victories in February and April, returns Saturday, June 12 in a six-rounder against “Lethal” Larry Fryers at The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas on the undercard of the WBO interim junior lightweight title bout between Shakur Stevenson and Jeremiah Nakathila.
In his first bout in more than 18 months, Toledo-born junior lightweight Tyler McCreary hopes to get back on the winning track against veteran spoiler Manuel Rey Rojas in an eight-rounder.
Zayas-Fryers and McCreary-Rojas will be among the undercard bouts streaming live and exclusively on ESPN+ at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT. Stevenson-Nakathila and the 10-round junior welterweight duel between Jose “Sniper” Pedraza and Julian “Hammer Hands” Rodriguez will be broadcast live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes (simulcast on ESPN+) at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT
Promoted by Top Rank, tickets starting at $50 are on sale now and can be purchased by visiting Etix.com.
Born in San Juan and now residing in South Florida, Zayas (8-0, 6 KOs) won 11 national titles as an amateur and has five first-round knockouts since turning pro shortly after his 17th birthday in October 2019. He has stepped up the competition in 2021, shutting out James Martin over six rounds in February and knocking out Demarcus Layton in 56 seconds in April on the Emanuel Navarrete-Christopher Diaz undercard. Fryers (11-3, 4 KOs), an Irishman who now calls New York home, is a five-year pro. Last June, he dropped an eight-round decision to undefeated prospect John Bauza inside the MGM Grand Las Vegas Bubble.
McCreary (16-1-1, 7 KOs) last fought in November 2019 in a co-feature bout against former two-weight world champion Carl “The Jackal” Frampton, but he was dropped twice en route to a one-sided decision defeat. He made his Top Rank debut in March 2019 and looks to turn the page against Rojas (20-5, 6 KOs), a native of Dallas, Texas, who lost a competitive decision to Toledo native and junior lightweight contender Albert Bell in April.
In other undercard action on ESPN+:
Puerto Rican junior welterweight prospect John “El Terrible” Bauza (14-0, 5 KOs) returns in an eight-rounder versus Christon Edwards (12-2, 6 KOs), a Houston native who has won six in a row.
In a battle of undefeated junior lightweights scheduled for six rounds, Bryan Lua (7-0, 3 KOs), a Robert Garcia-trained prospect from California’s Central Valley, will face Puerto Rico’s Frevian Gonzalez (4-0, 1 KO). Gonzalez and Lua each notched a pair of victories last year inside the MGM Grand Las Vegas Bubble.
Middleweight phenom Troy “Transformer” Isley (1-0), who shut out Bryant Costello in his pro debut in February, is back in a four-rounder against Philadelphia’s LaQuan Evans (4-1, 2 KOs), who has won three straight dating back to 2019.
Kasir “Mazzi” Goldston (2-0, 1 KO), an 18-year-old former U.S. amateur star from Albany, New York, will make his 2021 debut against Michigan native Maurice Anthony (3-1, 3 KOs) in a four-round welterweight tilt.
Welterweight prospect Jahi Tucker (3-0, 2 KOs), who hopes to follow promotional stablemates Jamel Herring and Joe Smith Jr. and become the next world champion from Long Island, will fight Ysrael Barboza (3-1-1, 3 KOs) in a four-rounder. Tucker turned heads in his last bout with a body shot knockout over Eric Rodriguez.